The issue of internal security in Nigeria this time around is of great concern to every patriotic Nigerian. And without mincing word, it has become a very hard nut for the Federal Government to crack.
The Boko Haram insurgency has been giving the Federal Government a terrible headache and for over eight years under two different governments, it is still a mystery. On many occasions the Federal Government has given us assurances and victory songs over Boko Haram but it has always been short lived because the insurgency continues to surface after a very brief spell of comfort.
As if this was not enough, the terrible issue of Fulani herdsmen killing has been on in the last four or five years and it has become more intense and more devastating in the last two years. Coupled with this are the disheartening issues of ritual killings and kidnapping. No state in the country is free from this menace. It may be more aggravating in some states more than in others, but it has become a common problem. States like Zamfara, Benue, Sokoto, Adamawa, Katsina, Kaduna and others in the North have bitter experiences and tales of woes to tell. So also in some southern states, the story is not different. But in the South West, it appears that we are under the siege of the Fulani herdsmen with the wanton killing of farmers, destruction of farms and farm produce and kidnapping in exchange for ransom. The Fulani herdsmen are having a field day. Our highways are their operating theatre. They are operating with impunity in the face of the security operatives, the police and the army inclusive. It is as if the Fulani herdsmen are under the cover of the federal might because they appear untouchable, well and better equipped.
Therefore, to aid and complement the security efforts of the Federal Government, the state police is necessary now in Nigeria. In most states, the governors are no more their states’ number one security officers. They are not in control of their states’ security; they cannot control or give orders to the heads of security operatives in their states. Orders come only from the Federal Government or a higher authority than that of the state. The governors have lost the control of their states security.
But as the security and peace of a state lie in the hands of its governor, then it is imperative that state police is inevitable now in Nigeria.
Every good thing has its bad side, no matter how small. One of the main fears of the antagonists of state police is its likely abuse and misuse by the state governors. Our past experiences in the days of regional system of government were deplorable. The regional police was used then as an instrument of victimization, suppression and vengeance on the opposition by the ruling party. It was then a means to maim and suppress their political opponents. But the position now is different; Nigerians are wiser and most of our politicians are more mature and decorous. Although a few of them are still naïve and barbaric, with time they will be reformed. It should be noted that the state police cannot do it alone without the assistance and cooperation of the communities. This is where the assistance of the royal fathers is important
Hon. Layi Ogunniran,